Last year my family joined Pat Whetham's organic vegetable CSA* farm, here in Genesee County, Michigan. Just to give it a try see how we liked it. The food was fresh and healthy, organically and locally grown. It was a good year. And luckily, our half share was plentiful: we had more than we could use.
And, just maybe because of all of the green leafy veggies, my cholesterol level this year was better than last year's reading. All good, all good.
(*Consumer Supported Agriculture)
Farming is a real life gamble, when you think of it. We get a taste of that when we buy a share in a CSA farm and then wait to see what happens with the weather and insects and whatever else Mother Nature has in mind for us. Like with stock, 'the market doesn't always go up'. This uncertainty is what the farm family has to deal with every year for their livelihood.
It gives us a clearer idea about the precariousness of the climate change that we are beginning to experience as well.
Anyhow, this year I like to think we were first in line to re-subscribe.
We shareholders receive occasional e-mails concerning relevant topics from our CSA farmer, Pat, and upon reading the latest one, I had 'the light bulb' turn on over my head:
Ask Pat to be a guest blogger!
In other words, ask her permission to post her emails and help spread her words of wisdom and experience! So I turn this space over today to Pat.
From Whetham Organic Farm - "The Way We Live Now"
In the interests of further educating everyone I know:
[Linked] to this is a very interesting article by Michael Pollan, author of The Ominivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. ... I really want you to read it and think.
Pollan is good at making us think (at least in my opinion) and his work has helped fuel the 'eat local' movement across America by describing the production of industrial food in great detail. In this article he is very definitely equating our food choices with our environmental or carbon footprints. And it's about time. I've been trying to do that for 20 years, but no one would pay attention - including the environmentalists.
By the end of the [linked] article Pollan finally is saying Grow your own food. It's the best choice for the whole entire world and everybody in it. I agree and say also that garden needs to be organic, not chemical (because chemical gardening -and farming- uses more resources as well as being unhealthy for you and the planet).
Can you believe that many 'gardeners' never grow anything edible? Those people need to be encouraged to put some fruits and vegetables among those ornamentals!
Pollan talks about viral social change - that phenomenon where ideas spread like a computer virus. Let's help this particular virus along. Start praising all the gardeners you know for growing their own food.
Encourage others to try it. That's one of the reasons I started an organic gardening class this year - to encourage others, to show them how it's done if they don't know, to spread the word as Pollan is trying to do.
For those of you who can't grow your own, CSA is a good choice, particularly a really local CSA where you can see your food being grown, maybe help out a little, and gain some understanding of the whole process of gardening and farming and the ways it can help or hurt the world.
I have a few more "viral" ideas coming along in my mind. Expect to hear about them soon.